When he exploded onto the pop culture landscape for playing Ivan Drago’s son Viktor in Creed II, Florian Munteanus glowering presence was chill-inducing.
That’s because he’s six-foot-four; he’s officially jacked; his abs have abs; he has an ever-present scowl…
And he has a wee little line shaved into the side of his head.
Call it the “High and Fight.” This isn’t the same as a “cut-in part,” which is a thin line shaved right on the part to help differentiate the two sides of your hair. This is pure ornamentation in the tradition of a young Mike Tyson or Anthony Mason. It’s a completely impractical flourish that says, I will hurt you… but with panache!.
We called up UK-based master barber Kevin Luchmun, who says the secret to the Munteanu look is the completely aesthetic choice behind it. “Something like that is not really practical, it’s more of a statement,” he says. But it’s not permanent statement. It’s a temporary way to mix up your look. And if you don’t like it, just shave it off.
Follow Luchmun’s tips below to knock it out for yourself.
1. Don’t Have it Cut Where Your Part Is
“A cut-in part is actually to help manage where you’re going to part your hair,” says Luchmun. “If you’re shaving a part, it’s easier to separate the hair from the left and right sides. It’s a practical choice.” What Munteanu has, however, serves no purpose. “It’s not to benefit the haircut,” he says. If you ask your barber for something purely decorative, be prepared to clarify and defend your decision.
2. Make Sure You Have the Right Type of Hair…
Think of your head like a canvas and your hair like paints. Are your paints robust and dark or thin and wispy? “Designs are better on someone who has darker, thicker, and coarser hair because the design is going to show up better,” says Luchmun. But this doesn’t mean blonds don’t have more fun, just that their fun is different. “For fairer hair, the design might need to be a little thicker so it actually shows up,” says Luchmun.
3. … And the Right Haircut
Experimenting with hair designs is best for people with short hair. Just like the color and texture, the shorter your hair means the more visible the design will be. It also makes it easier to fix if you decide you don’t like it. “People who have a short shape-up can do things to change it ever so slightly because they’re going to get it cut again in two weeks,” says Luchmun. “If they don’t like it, they can easily shave it off. It can even change on a weekly basis depending on how often they get a cut.”
4. Placement Is Key
“If someone has a weak or receding hairline, put it down on the side because you don’t want to emphasize where it’s receding,” says Luchmun. Similarly, don’t place it closer to the top of your head if you have more length on top unless you want it to be the focal point of your look.
5. Keep it Subtle
When working with your barber to come up with your own version, make sure to start small, like a Munteanu line. Luchmun warns against cutting too wide a line into your hair at the first go. Ask your barber to start small and thin, so you can always make it bigger if you want. “Less is more. You can always cut more hair off but you can’t put hair back on,” Luchmun says.
6. Don’t Do It Yourself
“Like anything, trying to do this yourself could go horribly wrong,” says Luchmun. In untrained hands (and working backwards in a mirror), “the risk is that you will keep cutting more off in order to get a clean line and then just end up shaving your head.”A professional barber will not only be able to execute the style you want, but can offer you objective advice on things like placement.